Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Sir Arthur feels like a bit of a fool. There he was, "enjoying the company" of his royal girlfriend (which explains why he was only wearing his boxer shorts at the time!) when out of unknown abyss of time and space arrives Lucifer, intent on making the luscious royal beauty his own true love!
Rather frustrated at being caught with his trousers down, Arthur sets out on a mission to rescue the woman of his dreams - who just happens to be at the end of several levels' worth of horizontally scrolling platform action. But the demons of Lucifer are abroad and as Arthur progresses through each level these foul monsters attempt to rob our hero of his life!
Arthur has a wealth of weapons and selectable magic at his immediate disposal and no monster can withstand an all-out attack! There's also treasure chests to be opened, some of which send Arthur to a celestial shop where he can buy extra shoes and helmets to boost his running, jumping and damage-absorbing abilities!
At the end of each level, Arthur faces up to one of Lucifer's partners-in-slime - a massive epitome of foulness which requires many hits before it returns to Hades!
Reading the instruction booklet of Ghouls 'n' Ghosts really builds up your expectations - it seems as if the game's producers have actually bettered the coin-op by incorporating extra features! These extra features (like extra weapons, magic and power-ups) do indeed enhance the action, but this version lacks the addictive nature of the arcade original. Also, the graphics and sound aren't going to be winning any prestigious awards for their excellence. However, this isn't to say that this is a bad game - far from it. The levels are sometimes larger than their arcade counterparts and you are getting quite a bit of game for your money. All of the rounds and massive bosses have been incorporated and the only thing missing is Arthur's power-up golden armour (though the different magic more than makes up for this). Ghouls 'n' Ghosts isn't exactly in the realms of the classic Sega carts, but it's a pretty playable conversion of a great arcade machine that coin-op fans will enjoy a great deal. Have a look.
Ghouls 'n' Ghosts isn't the best looking game in the world, but it's incredibly playable and is challenge-packed.